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Shoulder Orthopedic Conditions and Treatment

Shoulder orthopedic conditions usually require prompt treatment. As the shoulder socket is relatively small compared to the ball of the upper arm, the shoulder joint is quite unstable.  The unstable condition and the wide range of motion that the shoulder is capable of renders the soldier susceptible to injuries or trauma, such as: fracture, dislocation, sprain, strain, bursitis, tendinitis, arthritis and even a tear in the rotator cuff. Shoulder surgery may be an option when less invasive methods fail. In this article, we’ll start with the least invasive and lead to surgical approaches for the following conditions.

  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Rotator Cuff Injury
  • Shoulder Tendonitis
  • Torn Ligaments and Cartilage
  • Torn Rotator Cuff Tendon
  • Shoulder Inflammation
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome
  • Shoulder Fractures and Damage

Should a conservative treatment regimen and rehabilitation program fail to address or would not be applicable as a treatment option to the shoulder problem, shoulder surgery may be proposed following a Q and A session with your orthopedic specialist.  Currently, there are various surgical procedures that may be performed to treat shoulder problems, including:

Treatment for Shoulder Dislocation, Frozen Shoulder, Rotator Cuff Injury, Shoulder Tendinitis and Torn Ligaments and Cartilage

Shoulder Arthroscopy.  Small incisions are made in the shoulder area to allow for the insertion of an arthroscope and other instruments that allow for visualization of the internal structure of the shoulder and enable the surgeon to conduct repair or reconstructive procedures. Shoulder arthroscopy is performed as a diagnostic and therapeutic procedure as well. 

Treatment for Torn Rotator Cuff Tendon

Rotator Cuff Tendon Repair. This is a surgical procedure which entails the reattachment of the torn tendon of the rotator cuff to the head of the humerus.  If the tear is partial, simple debridement (trimming and smoothing of the tendon) would suffice.  On the other hand, a complete tear would require a more extensive procedure.  The two ends should be sewn together.

Surgery For Shoulder Inflammation and Impingement Syndrome

Shoulder Decompression.  This procedure is performed via arthroscopy. When the shoulder tendons are inflamed, this causes pain, a certain degree of immobility and loss of joint strength.  In such case, the rotator cuff tendon which is inflamed and swollen is pressed between the head of the humerus and the under surface of the acromial bone.  To decompress, the underside of the acromion bone is removed.  Consequently, the rotator cuff can move more freely and symptoms of pain are relieved.  The procedure is the treatment option of choice for Shoulder Impingement Syndrome which has not responded to conservative therapy.

Surgery for Shoulder Fractures and Damage

Shoulder Joint Replacement or Arthroplasty. Involves removal of the damaged surfaces of the shoulder joint and replacement with a metal implant. The procedures entail the resurfacing of the shoulder joint. Arthroplasty can be total or partial (Hemi-arthroplasty).  In total Arthroplasty, both the shoulder ball and the socket are resurfaced and replaced with metal implant.  In hemi-arthroplasty, only the ball is removed and replaced by the prosthesis.  Shoulder arthroplasty is recommended in cases of traumatic and pathological fractures for those who qualify.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.